Prices Up, Market Share Down

A-B has tough first quarter with fewer discounts and higher prices

Fewer discounts and higher beer prices helped Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. record improved profit and revenue for the first quarter – but tough comps from the same period last year left sales increases close to flat.

The company’s 2.7% revenue growth was attributed primarily to its 8.5% increase in international net sales.

In the U.S., A-B’s organic shipments were down 0.7% against a tough comparison of the 4.6% increase during the same period last year. Through March of this year, A-B lost 0.7 points of market share. Distributor inventories were reported as slightly down from last year indicating that the brewer did not load up the wholesale tier to show stronger sales..

The brewer’s worldwide beer sales volume for the period grew 1.8 percent.